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Thread: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

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    Default Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Guess which team has committed the most fouls so far this season in the NBA Eastern Conference?

    OK, that's no surprise to anybody. But I want to look a step deeper.

    Not only have the Pacers committed the most fouls, but they've also given the most Free Throw Attempts by a wider margin. The chart shows the ratio of opponents' free throw attempts to team fouls. The Pacers being highest means Pacers fouls come more often in situations when free throws are given:






    The fouls the Pacers commit, which are more numerous in total, are also committed in situations where more shots are given.

    I don't have a source of two-shot fouls, one-shot fouls and no-shot fouls. But clearly the Pacers commit a combination a fouls that hurt their chances of winning more than other teams do. (Last night against Portland was a clear case of this.)


    1. How do you explain it?

    2. Does it matter?

    3. How would you change it?

    4. Is it O'Brien's fault?



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    Last edited by Putnam; 03-04-2010 at 08:37 AM.
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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    It's lazy defense. I'm not sure there's much more to it than that...

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    We have players starting who don't have the foot speed to stay in front of their man on defense (cough, Murphy, cough), so others are forced to help out. If the help comes late there is usually going to be a foul..
    Last edited by Mr. Sobchak; 03-04-2010 at 08:48 AM.

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    1. How do you explain it?

    2. Does it matter?

    3. How would you change it?

    4. Is it O'Brien's fault?



    .

    Yes it is O'Brien's fault - isn't everything his fault.


    The only question I really want to answer is number 2. Yes is matters, it matters a ton. I think free throw attempts per game is a very important stat. Not giving up free throws and getting free throws is hugely important. Strangely enough ft shooting % doesn't seem like it matters too much. if you look at the Cavs, Spurs (over the years) any of Shaq's teams. Seems more important just to shoot a lot of free throws. gets the other team in foul trouble, wears them down, plus make or miss it allows your defense to get set up.

    The Pacers biggest problem is that they give up too many FT's and not get nearly enough. A lot of it is the style of play, and the players we have on the roster.

    I've often said that the style of offense I want is a team that gets about 40 ft's per game. The only coach we've had that seemed to emphasize it enough for my liking was Larry Brown and also in a small way Isiah Thomas.

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by spreedom View Post
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    It's lazy defense. I'm not sure there's much more to it than that...
    Remember that the Pacers are holding their opponent to the 10th lowest FG% in the NBA this season. That is quite respectable. Can we call them lazy when they are stopping their opponents from scoring better than 20 other teams? If they were really lazy, they'd be worst in opponents' FG% and more moderate in free throws given, don't you think?

    Mr Sobchak is onto something. The Pacers do interfere with opponents' scoring, but they too seldom do it with a clean deflection and too often with a grab or push or slap.

    Maybe they should back off a little and really play the Ole! defense.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    1) The consistent commentary I hear, which matches what I see, is that we don't "help the helper" in the team defense.

    That means when someone rotates away to help on a ball handler, no one comes in to cover his man. This is most glaring on a pick-and-roll (since it is, after all, the whole point of the pnr), but it happens quite often without being forced (see my previous comments about TJ as only one small example).

    This causes the original player, or a post defender, to have to come in late. Whenever you come in late, there's a strong chance of fouling on a shot attempt.

    2) We put the other team into the penalty nearly every quarter, which automatically results in FTAs.

    3) We get into the air on defense at a crazy rate. When Hibbert isn't playing his best this is one of his habits, to be 7' 2" and still jump to defend. When we defend small, we get into the air. Only a couple of our players manage to keep their feet on the floor when defending.
    BillS

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sobchak View Post
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    We have players starting who don't have the foot speed to stay in front of their man on defense (cough, Murphy, cough), so others are forced to help out. If the help comes late there is usually going to be a foul..
    I'll say again that, at least in recent home games where I am in a position to focus on Murphy, he isn't always being blown past or forcing someone else to foul. He is usually the guy moving off his man to help and then no one picks up his man.

    When he isn't moving to help he defends fairly well.
    BillS

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Remember that the Pacers are holding their opponent to the 10th lowest FG% in the NBA this season. That is quite respectable. Can we call them lazy when they are stopping their opponents from scoring better than 20 other teams? If they were really lazy, they'd be worst in opponents' FG% and more moderate in free throws given, don't you think?

    Mr Sobchak is onto something. The Pacers do interfere with opponents' scoring, but they too seldom do it with a clean deflection and too often with a grab or push or slap.

    Maybe they should back off a little and really play the Ole! defense.
    Could it be that the FG% is helped, due to them fouling on shots?

    Think about it. If they weren't to foul, I'm sure a good percentage of those shots would go in, thus raising the FG%. The counter-argument is that it would affect the numbers all that much. My next point is, that only 0.005% seperates Indiana, and the next 6 teams. That's not much, at all.

    15 teams are seperated by 1.5% with that stat. You could very easily be #10, or just as easily be #26.

    EDIT: Is there a site that keeps rankings for points per 100 possesions? I know 82games.com has the stat, but don't see a ranked list for teams.
    Last edited by Since86; 03-04-2010 at 09:47 AM.

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    I'll say again that, at least in recent home games where I am in a position to focus on Murphy, he isn't always being blown past or forcing someone else to foul. He is usually the guy moving off his man to help and then no one picks up his man.

    When he isn't moving to help he defends fairly well.
    (Thread derail)
    This makes me curious. We have a lot of people on here that don't really know what's going on in a game x and o's wise and they are making a lot of judgmental statements. What we need to do in the game thread is everyone focus on one player.

    Say the next game everyone focus on Murphy instead of watching the ball and then actually discuss his play good and bad during the game and why it's good or bad. I know I could learn a lot because I don't really know zilch.

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86
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    EDIT: Is there a site that keeps rankings for points per 100 possesions? I know 82games.com has the stat, but don't see a ranked list for teams.

    I think HoopsData.com does.

    .
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
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    But they never had much use for me
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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sobchak View Post
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    We have players starting who don't have the foot speed to stay in front of their man on defense (cough, Murphy, cough), so others are forced to help out. If the help comes late there is usually going to be a foul..
    Others like cough, cough Hibbert? Murphy has his problems, but Hibbert is the snail. Murphy is the tortoise.

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    (Thread derail)
    This makes me curious. We have a lot of people on here that don't really know what's going on in a game x and o's wise and they are making a lot of judgmental statements. What we need to do in the game thread is everyone focus on one player.

    Say the next game everyone focus on Murphy instead of watching the ball and then actually discuss his play good and bad during the game and why it's good or bad. I know I could learn a lot because I don't really know zilch.
    The beauty of DVR lets you focus on certain guys bigtime. Sometimes I'll rewind like the Zupruder films. I think you see alot more doing this as far as real roots of problems.

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    It is a combination of factors. True, poor perimeter defense from our displaced big Murphy makes teams drive past him into our either A) inexperienced Roy or B) rotating help that has been too busy reacting to keeping some sort of "perimeter" set up in their own portion of the floor to be able to get into position in time to draw charges instead of fouling.

    But, it goes much deeper than that. Our other perimeter players, with the exception of Rush, have had deficiencies in preventing drives due to either injury (Granger has been hobbled for quite a few games earlier in the year, making it difficult for him to move laterally and with quickness which has limited his effectiveness in staying in front of his man) or just being required to cover too much space due to the inadequacies of Murphy and Granger which requires them to both cover their own areas and probably then overextending their coverages by a pretty large percentage. Our opponents recognize this and regularly exploit it by driving with intent to score.

    Another more limited factor is our method, particularly Dahntay's, of being aggressive and getting into the heads of our opposition by using hand and elbow contact to attempt to control the offensive players that we are over matched against. In the 1980's, that was good defense. Today, rules are different to increase scoring and the overall speed of the game and that results in extra unnecessary fouls being called for excessive contact. I am sure that this tendency is a good portion of why Dahntay has ended up with limited minutes compared to what his early season performance would have suggested, and is also why Denver would have chosen to play him only 17 minutes as a starter and eventually let him go.

    Most important of all, in my mind, is the tremendous advantage that fundamental basketball strategy automatically hands our opposition if they choose to exploit it, namely the fact that many games are won and lost at the FT line. Those teams recognize that our offense is actually designed in such a way that we generally don't shoot many freethrows which limits our potential offensive output due to less scoring per FG attempt and less potential points per possession regardless of what pace we choose to play at. So, naturally, the teams that do recognize this attack us, especially when we have committed some unnecessary fouls to begin with in an effort to be "aggressive", and either get fouls from driving into traffic and getting fouled in the act of shooting, or drawing enough non-shooting fouls by driving into traffic with the intention of scoring (instead of kicking out for 3's), thereby forcing us to defend and increase our likelihood of committing fouls, thereby getting into the bonus and once again shooting more FTs.

    We also are relatively poor at getting into good rebounding position compared to our opponents, which limits our getting the benefit of over-the-back calls against our opponents while increasing the likelihood, when we actually try to get contested boards, of our committing fouls, which in turn also further widens the discrepancy against us.

    Does this matter? Unquestionably. Again, the easiest and most efficient points scored in basketball come from the line, and many games are won / lost at the line.

    I would change it by doing several things.

    First, I would slow the overall tempo to match the available athleticism and energy that we have available as a roster. Fatigue and injuries are a big factor in picking up unnecessary fouls as much as it is in not being able to cover the space required to create the "perimeter", which I am not sure is even a good idea to begin with. Also, a slower pace with fewer possessions would reduce the effect of our disparity at the line on the end result of the scoreboard even if the results are the same in percentage terms.

    Second, I would limit 3's and increase not just driving ("attacking the paint") but also driving with the intent of actually scoring or, God forbid, feeding Roy in the low post more frequently with the intent of scoring ("attacking the BASKET"). This would draw additional fouls on the opposition and increase our scoring efficiency while encouraging perimeter movement due to defenses sagging more than they currently do and opening up our perimeter for quality shots later in the shot clock after the defense is forced to react to our ball and player movement, you know, like basketball is generally played elsewhere.

    Third, I would limit the amount of help defense tht is played by our point guards and just have them pressure the ball at the point of attack because their quickness gives them more of an advantage that way defensively than asking them to use their short statures, legs, and wingspans to cover a lot of lateral ground. I would leave a rotating and collapsing help scheme for the 3 through 5 positions at deeper positions on the floor, with the primary function of the 3 to be a roving ball follower whose primary function is to stop dribble penetration and some entry passes, while the 4 and 5 rotate and help each other in the low post area as much as league rules permit them to.

    Decision making, both communication of and getting player buy-in to a strategically sound vision, and strategic management of available assets in an effort to maximize results both currently as well as in the future is, in my opinion, the very definition of the function of the head coach. The buck stops with the coach, and ultimately, unless he is fulfilling the majority of these functions, it is his fault. So, yes, but with reason, it is O'B's fault.

    Actually, it is even more complex than what I have presented here, but I don't think very many would fully read and comprehend such a long post unless it was from our renowned expert Tbird, and perhaps shouldn't anayway. Maybe he can weigh in on this issue in the near future. How is his team doing, BTW? Hopefully well!

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    (Thread derail)
    This makes me curious. We have a lot of people on here that don't really know what's going on in a game x and o's wise and they are making a lot of judgmental statements. What we need to do in the game thread is everyone focus on one player.

    Say the next game everyone focus on Murphy instead of watching the ball and then actually discuss his play good and bad during the game and why it's good or bad. I know I could learn a lot because I don't really know zilch.
    If your suggesting that I'm not watching the games then you are wrong...I maybe have missed 5 games this year due to conflicts. Maybe Bill and I are watching two different Murphy's then because I consistently see him get blown by a guy putting the ball on the floor.

    Quote Originally Posted by EmCeE
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    Others like cough, cough Hibbert? Murphy has his problems, but Hibbert is the snail. Murphy is the tortoise.
    Hibbert is slow, yes, but riddle me this.. Why is the defense so much more improved when Roy plays next to Solo or McBob? Because he doesn't have to cover up for Troy's poor defense.
    Last edited by Mr. Sobchak; 03-04-2010 at 11:10 AM.

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sobchak View Post
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    Hibbert is slow, yes, but riddle me this.. Why is the defense so much more improved when Roy plays next to Solo or McBob? Because he doesn't have to cover up for Troy's poor defense.
    last season it was obvious that Troy and Roy defensively were horrible. Why? simply put, Troy is a horrible defender and Roy is pretty much too. Both are extremely slow and both foul way too much. So when you replace either with someone else the defense improves a lot. last season I thought Jeff and Roy was a decent combo (but then I suppose I would think Jeff and anyone is a decent combo)

    I don't think Roy having to cover-up for Troy really is the reason though

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    last season it was obvious that Troy and Roy defensively were horrible. Why? simply put, Troy is a horrible defender and Roy is pretty much too. Both are extremely slow and both foul way too much. So when you replace either with someone else the defense improves a lot. last season I thought Jeff and Roy was a decent combo (but then I suppose I would think Jeff and anyone is a decent combo)

    I don't think Roy having to cover-up for Troy really is the reason though
    We'll just have to agree to disagree.

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sobchak View Post
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    If your suggesting that I'm not watching the games then you are wrong.
    Yep! When I wrote that I thought this will sting Mister S. big time, that will serve the so and so his just deserts! (Giggle, giggle, snort)

    And anyway, I might not always be right, but I'm never wrong.Not more than half the time anyway.

    I'm being silly of course. Actually I was just referring to the Bill S. post I quoted. Figured I could learn something. It didn't have anything at all to do with what you posted.
    Last edited by Will Galen; 03-04-2010 at 11:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sobchak View Post
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    We'll just have to agree to disagree.
    I'm sure you disagree about Roy. He's gotten better this season and I expect him to continue to improve. Now he's a good shotblocker but IMO that isn't necessarily an indication that he's a good defender. He'll always be a liability in the pick and roll coverage and other type of situations when some quickness is needed.

    I am not one who believes in having a big guy to anchor the defense - at least not a big slow guy in the middle. I like big defenders who are really quick, mobile, athletic, can help recover that sort of thing. Give me KG over a healthy Yao any day. Long, lean, quick athletic defenders is what I like. That is what made Sheed and Ben so good and to a lesser extent IMO that was what made Jeff and JO as a defensive combo very good.

    Kendrick Perkins is an interesting case. No one guards Dwight Howard any better (and that alone gives the Celtics a decent chance of beating the Magic). Perk is physical a bit of a bruiser, and not the most athletic guy, but he doesn't seem slow in his lateral quickness - so he is an excellent defender.
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 03-04-2010 at 11:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I'm sure you disagree about Roy. he's gotten better this seasion and I expect him to continue to improve. Now he's a good shotblocker but IMop that isn't necessarily an indication that he's a good defender. He'll oways be a liability in the pick and roll coverage and other type of situations when some quickness is needed.

    I am not one who believes in having a big guy to anchor the defense - at least not a big slow guy in the middle. I like big defenders who are really quick, mobile, athletic, can help recover that sort of thing. Give me KG over a healthy Yao any day.
    I think if Roy works more on body control he could be an average defender and above average help side shot blocker. We can agree about the KG thing but players like that don't come around very often.

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    Yep! When I wrote that I thought this will sting Mister S. big time, that will serve the so and so his just deserts! (Giggle, giggle, snort)

    And anyway, I might not always be right, but I'm never wrong.Not more than half the time anyway.

    I'm being silly of course. Actually I was just referring to the Bill S. post I quoted. Figured I could learn something. It didn't have anything at all to do with what you posted.
    My apologies...I misinterpreted what you were saying.

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sobchak View Post
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    I think if Roy works more on body control he could be an average defender and above average help side shot blocker. We can agree about the KG thing but players like that don't come around very often.
    KG is an extreme example. OK, how about Ben Wallace, Sheed, Jeff Foster - back in their day. No, Jeff was not as good as the other two, but Jeff is the type of defender I really like. (Hope Peck doesn't read this, I'm sure he won't)

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Sloppy and careless passes which lead to fastbreak turnovers and fouling and poor defense.

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I am not one who believes in having a big guy to anchor the defense - at least not a big slow guy in the middle. I like big defenders who are really quick, mobile, athletic, can help recover that sort of thing.
    Sounds like you're describing Josh McRoberts to me.....

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
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    Sloppy and careless passes which lead to fastbreak turnovers and fouling and poor defense.
    I agree, a lot of our problems defensively and with fouling are caused by our offense, quick shots, turnovers, quick pace is not a good way to get back and set up the defense

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    Default Re: Why do the Pacers give up so many FTAs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    Sounds like you're describing Josh McRoberts to me.....
    do we really want to get onto that tangent. Yes Josh is the "type" of defender I would like and should like. But he looks lost defensively most of the time. Comparing him to Jeff Foster - Josh doesn't have good lateral quickness, doesn't have quick hands or feet. I don't see any instincts there to play defense well. He can jump though so he has that going for him - but other than good jumping ability I don't know what else he has.

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